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Neil comes out smelling of roses
12:00pm Sunday 13th October 2013 in News
A FYFIELD man is celebrating his top blooms after winning a horticultural gong.
Neil Duncan has only been growing roses as a hobby for the past six years, but he has proved the worth of his green fingers by winning the Open Champ at the Royal National Rose Society Shows, by accruing the most amount of points over the course of three separate shows from June until September.
The former head lad for horse racers across the area, who grows his blooms at his allotments in Appleshaw, said: “To be good at anything is always great but now I have become quite respected within the group of us that do it.
“It’s something that not everybody understands but I really enjoy the showing aspect of it.
“To go to shows and win is what it’s all about.
If I didn’t win or was not as successful as I was, I don’t know whether I would still be doing it.
“It’s hard to keep the roses to the standard and quality to keep on winning.”
Mr Duncan, aged 37, who takes part in about 12 shows a year, faced particularly tough conditions to keep his roses in tip top condition during the hot summer.
He used a walk-in fridge to keep the roses fresh and was grateful for the use of electricity and water from friend Jenny Hopkins.
In the three flower shows – Harrogate, Badshot Lea and St Albans – Mr Duncan picked up nine first place prizes, 14 second places and two third places.
Mr Duncan added: “I would like to thank my wife who drives me everywhere as I don’t drive.”
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